Slipped through the cracks

The stories we missed this week: More women opting for double mastectomies, working women thwarted by insecurity and the top 10 literary virgins.

Published August 22, 2008 10:11PM (EDT)

Christina Applegate, face of a trend?: When faced with the decision of picking a surgical method to battle breast cancer, more and more women are opting to have both breasts removed. Christina Applegate's recent announcement about her double mastectomy surgery is indicative of a greater pattern among breast cancer patients: The International Journal of Cancer finds 18 percent of women who have the same deadly BRCA1 gene mutation as Applegate have found the double mastectomy or the prophylactic mastectomy to be the optimal solution (like recent Salon interviewee Jessica Queller), knowing that they can undergo reconstructive surgery. "We're seeing probably six or seven times more prophylactic mastectomies now than 10 years ago," said Dr. Rache Simmons.

Are women not doing it for themselves?: A recent international study finds women are less likely to climb the corporate ladder than their male co-workers, because they're denied the opportunity -- not by their superiors, but by their own insecurities. The study, published in Shannon L. Goodson's "The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance," found that women generally still subscribe to the fiction that the impulse to self-endorse is "socially unacceptable," "unlady-like" and "morally suspect."

Best sellers at Best Buy: As more and more women buy electronics, more and more women are selling them. Best Buy is looking to vary its mostly male leadership by recruiting female employees. According to Best Buy, women prefer purchasing their electronics from other women. The company's 55 Women's Leadership Forums hold monthly events that cultivate a lively corporate environment for the company's increasingly important saleswomen.

Virginity: Literary bliss?: Had Jane Austen not been a virgin, there may have been no pride in "Pride and Prejudice." Take a look at the Guardian's Top 10 Literary Virgins, and it's easy to believe a sexless existence is a productive one. John Sutherland thinks that without abstinence, writers like Austen, George Bernard Shaw and Gerard Manley Hopkins wouldn't have created the legendary work we still read today, but maybe we'd just have less frustrated voices. If Austen hadn't been celibate, we might've gotten more than just a Darcy-Elizabeth wedding -- like a real happy ending.

By Logan Scherer

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